OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Three reputed gang members and associates were sentenced on Friday to lengthy state prison terms and a fourth associate got 9 years for the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man in East Oakland in broad daylight in 2016 in what prosecutors said was an act of revenge.
The fatal shooting of Anthony Stevens in the 1400 block of 92nd Avenue at about 10:30 a.m. on July 9, 2016, attracted widespread community attention and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf attended a news conference three weeks later when police announced the arrests of four of the suspects in the case.
Joining Schaaf at that news conference, Oakland police Lt. Roland Holmgren said the young men are members of the Five Kingdom Mafia, which he said is a hybrid gang that conducts operations in Berkeley and Oakland and commits a lot of robberies.
At a sentencing hearing on Friday that lasted more than an hour, the four defendants expressed remorse for the fatal shooting of Stevens but claimed that they didn’t plan to kill him.
Alameda County prosecutor Stacie Pettigrew told jurors in her closing argument that the fatal shooting of Stevens the morning of July 9, 2016, occurred next to a street memorial for Wilson’s half-brother, Roderick Tucker, 21, who died after he was shot multiple times in that area at about 7 p.m. the previous night.
No one has been arrested or charged for that shooting.
Pettigrew said the motive for the shooting of Stevens was revenge and told jurors, “These defendants went to that area armed and ready to do whatever was necessary and acted with hostility in their hearts.”
She said the four men were “armed and ready to fire” when they surrounded and shot Stevens, who was alone in his parked car.
But defense lawyers claimed that the four defendants acted in self-defense and fired only after they thought that Stevens was reaching for a gun, although Pettigrew said there’s no evidence that Stevens fired any shots.
In a verdict on Feb. 6, jurors convicted Aoderi Qwai Samad, 26, of Berkeley, of first-degree murder, Anthony Roy Wilson, 28, of Vallejo, and Tyrone Anthony Terrell Jr., 26, who’s originally from Berkeley, of second-degree murder and Derrick Lee McFadden, 23, of Berkeley, of voluntary manslaughter.
Samad, Terrell and Wilson were also convicted of being ex-felons in possession of guns.
A fifth defendant, Kermit Tanner, 23, of Richmond pleaded no contest on Nov. 15 to his role in the shooting and on March 21 was sentenced to 4 years. His lawyer said Tanner didn’t fire any shots at Stevens.
At the hearing on Friday that was packed by family members of Stevens and the four defendants, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy sentenced Samad to 50 years to life, Wilson and Terrell to 40 years to life and McFadden to 9 years.
Stevens’ mother said in a letter read aloud by Pettigrew that the fatal shooting “was a senseless, brutal murder.”
She said, “This act of violence should never have happened.”
Wilson apologized to Stevens’ family for his actions and said, “I lost my little brother (Tucker) the night before (the fatal shooting of Stevens) so I know how you feel.”
But Wilson said, “We didn’t plan to hurt him (Stevens) and, “I really thought he was going to hurt someone.”
In a letter read aloud by his lawyer Steven Alpers, Samad said, “There was no plan to shoot Mr. Stevens or anyone else. I made a decision that I regret.”
McFadden said, “I feel horrible that I may have fired the shot that killed Mr. Stevens. I will have to live with that image the rest of my life.”
McFadden told Stevens’ family, “I’m truly sorry for what I’ve done.”
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